The documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi plays on a loop in this humble little suburban eatery, owned and operated by Chef Sean Park, who made a name for himself at O-Ku downtown. In 2010, Esquire’s John Mariani praised the chef by saying, “Sean Park turns out beautiful, fanciful sushi,” and tagged O-Ku as one of the best new restaurants of the year. In 2012, Park took over the kitchen at Bambu and successfully revamped a menu that desperately needed help. Last year, Park purchased Kanpai, which he runs with his family. His work is art. He creates vibrant sushi platters and aromatic bulgogi. His gazpacho is as beautiful as it gets, and you’ll find little gems on the menu like steamed buns and miso ramen that are worth trying if you’re not in the mood for sushi. We suggest going on a sensory journey by ordering the chef’s tasting menu. Make sure you give him advance notice and chat with him about your preferences because his omakase is tailored to each diner. You won’t regret it. —Eric Doksa
Dish (Summer 2014)
Classic Japanese fare — sushi and hibachi.
Features: Lunch, Dinner, Top 50
Hours: Lunch & Dinner (Mon.-Sat.). Closed Sun.